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Flexen looks to get on track vs. Rangers

MLB.com

Rookie right-hander Chris Flexen will make his third Major League start when the Mets open a two-game series with the Rangers on Tuesday at Citi Field. A.J. Griffin, who had been slated to start Wednesday for Texas, will fill in for Andrew Cashner, who was sidelined by neck stiffness.

Flexen was called up on July 27 from Double-A Binghamton when Zack Wheeler went on the disabled list. The No. 16-ranked prospect in the Mets organization, by MLBPipeline.com, Flexen was 6-1 with a 1.66 ERA in seven starts for Binghamton after starting the season on the disabled list recovering from right knee surgery.

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Rookie right-hander Chris Flexen will make his third Major League start when the Mets open a two-game series with the Rangers on Tuesday at Citi Field. A.J. Griffin, who had been slated to start Wednesday for Texas, will fill in for Andrew Cashner, who was sidelined by neck stiffness.

Flexen was called up on July 27 from Double-A Binghamton when Zack Wheeler went on the disabled list. The No. 16-ranked prospect in the Mets organization, by MLBPipeline.com, Flexen was 6-1 with a 1.66 ERA in seven starts for Binghamton after starting the season on the disabled list recovering from right knee surgery.

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Flexen's first two Major League starts have been rough. He was limited to three innings in starts against the Padres and Rockies, allowing a total of nine runs, eight earned, on 13 hits, five walks and four strikeouts.

Flexen needs to put hitters away: opposing hitters are 6-for-13 with four walks off him with two strikes in the count.

Griffin has dropped two of his past three decisions after opening the season 4-0. However, he's coming off a 4-1 win over the Twins on Thursday, when he limited Minnesota to one run and two hits in six innings.

Griffin will be making his first career appearance against the Mets.

Three things to watch for in this game

• The Mets are 9-5 all-time against the Rangers in Interleague Play after splitting two games earlier this season in Arlington. The Rangers are 2-4 in Queens, losing two of three at Shea Stadium in 2008 and again at Citi Field in '14.

• Michael Conforto is hitting .307 at Citi Field with a .635 home slugging percentage that is the fourth highest in the National League.

• With no designated hitter being used, the Rangers will need pinch-hitters off the bench. But their pinch-hitters this season are a combined 4-for-28 with one home run.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.